Back to Home

Active Questions

Men--does the silent treatment REALLY work?
Dating / 9:02 AM - Monday January 31, 2011

Men--does the silent treatment REALLY work?

For some strange reason, I haven't heard from my long-term b/f in a week. The last time I saw him, we had a great time..now nothing.

He had three days off recently and not a single phone call. I figured I'd see him at least one of those three days.

Hurt and pissed, I've not picked up the phone to ask what his problem is. I figure, if he's gonna ignore me, I might as well ignore him too. Especially since I'm usually the one to initiate plans/conversations.

But every day I don't hear from him, it hurts even more. WHY do men do this and how long do you think it'll take for him to realize he hasn't heard from me and pick up the g-d phone!?

Update: February 01, 2011.
Thanks again, everyone for your responses. My man finally contacted me today to go out for dinner. We wound up going out with a friend of his too. After dinner, I told him calmly that I feel we need to be more in communication, and that I don't feel like a priority anymore. I told him that while we don't have to be in contact 24/7, that going a week or longer with no talking at all is unacceptable. He told me that he's been having some issues at work that have been bothering him (although he didn't specify) and he said that he recently cut down on some of the anti-depressant meds he's on. He also said he hadn't really been in touch with anyone lately. While he didn't really apologize for his lack of contacting me, he did say we would get together on Thursday. So we'll see how that goes. I know change can't happen immediately, but I'm hoping that now that I calmly put it out there for him that I'm not happy with the current situation, this will help us get onto the right track.

Update: January 31, 2011.
Thanks everyone. What irks me the most is that over the last few weeks, I've casually (and in almost a joking matter so not to be too confrontational) brought up that I'd like to hear from him more than once a week. He says he's "busy" with work. So basically, he knew that I was already upset I didn't hear from him more and then he just disappears. It's sad because we recently had been doing well...went away during the holidays and had a blast. I just don't get it.

- Asked by Female, Who Cares?

Read more about the Rating System


i'd be pissed too... but MAYBE, just maybe something is wrong. you should call him once, if everything is ok then you should bitch at him and tell him if he doesn't like talking to you then maybe he shouldn't have a gf! if he doesn't answer just leave a message and DON'T try again.

- Response by jojo914, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


Silent treatment usually means something is wrong. Long term relationships don't work if people play games. Call him up and ask him if he is okay. If he doesn't return your call then you can know he is avoiding you. Rosey

- Response by roseytalks, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Tampa, Who Cares?

Rating Received:

Community Rating: Community Star

poor, poor you.
if he does not communicate, he must be dead; incapacitated or does not care.
put an all points bulletin out for him.

- Response by amandasboy, A Father Figure, Male, Who Cares?, Other Profession

Rating Received:


The "silent treatment" is a game. Don't play games in your relationship.

If you want to talk to him or see him, why can't you call him? If he's your boyfriend, it shouldn't matter who calls whom.

- Response by piscesrising, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Boston, Internet / New Media

Rating Received:


I agree with Rosey, but it's possible he just needed some down time. Time to relax, chill out, and do nothing.

- Response by drunkmonk, A Couch Potato, Male, 29-35

Rating Received:


honey, no disrespect intended, but are you sure this guy is your boyfriend? sounds more like an occassional lover with no strings attached in him mind at any rate...and that sex once every couple of weeks is about it.

I don't know if the silent treatment works at all. I hate the silent treatment. It's passive agressive at best and it just sucks. I'm all for confronting problems and making an out front attempt to resolve them if possible. I hate sulkers!

- Response by feralberyl, A Creative, Female, 56-65, Columbus, Other Profession

Rating Received:


I agree with the respondant who said he probably needed some down time. time by himself. But still he should have called you a few days ago just say hi, what's up. What I would do is call him, don't be upset and play games.. just call him.

- Response by girlpower08, A Sportif, Female, 36-45

Rating Received:


I cannot count the number of times a woman has given me the silent treatment when upset.

It used to work...now, I just ignore it.

- Response by drumboi2, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65

Rating Received:


I don't know if this is the season of ignorance and disappearance. But sounds to me, that it is happening every now and then. I am personally in this situation too, I have gotten so damned frustrated, I just don't care anymore. I just wished they could at least be bothered to just pick up the phone even to say that its over and done with to the least, just so that its not hanging in the mid air. Don't they just know that even they are upset with things and needed a break from everything else, their other half will not feel any less painful than what they are feeling. Well, for you, I guess you should just call him up, saves everybody from having more miserables than what they are already having, at least for urself.

- Response by A Creative, Female, 29-35, Auckland

Rating Received:


You are playing a mind game on him. You want to talk but aren't. And it is backfiring on you.
Men need to talk on the phone a lot less than women do. We don't know if he wants/needs to talk. He probably doesn't. He probably thinks everything is fine, because we live by the rule no news is good news. 3 days? He is probably thinking, it's great that she isn't being to clingy and needy.

- Response by jjcabin, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Washington, DC, Technical

Rating Received:


I wouldn't want to hang that long until he decides to call.

It's time to kick him to the curb.....

- Response by pushkins, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older, Miami, Who Cares?

Rating Received:


What you women DON'T GET..is that to not speak to someone for weeks or even months....is NOTHING TO A MAN!! That's right...it's NOTHING!! Guys can go months, years and even DECADES without talking to a friend and STILL be perfectly good friends with him. Why?? Because men don't NEED TO TALK TO STAY FRIENDS OR STAY CONNECTED!! That's right.. To US..we talk to exchange facts, information and NEWS..and occasionally help us solve a problem....that's IT!! We don't call us to get LOVE, SUPPORT, VALIDATION, TO BE REMINDED THAT OUR FRIEND CARES OR LOVES US OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE! That stuff never even enters our MINDS when we talk to a guy friend.

So what YOU"RE taking as "men playing games" is NOTHING OF THE SORT. It's men simply doing what comes naturally to them.. being somewhat aloof and not NEEDING or WANTING to have such a constant bombardment of contact, talking, back and forth...it's TOO much for a man overall..especially in the beginning. Also because most guys know that women will right away get USED to such constant communication and so we try to set the pace..but YOU keep pushing for more, more, more..then when he doesn't give you MORE.. you assume it means he's playing games...he's doing noting of the sort.

And why have you had such bad luck with these guys.. like MOST women? Because women PICK these asshole, jerk, losers or abusers because that is what YOU LIKE. You like men that are like yourselves, unreliable, unstable, emotionally messed up, guys that KEEP YOU CONFUSED, because the nice, stable, reliable guys are ...."BORING"!!!

So you subconsciously LIKE guys that act this way that's why ALL you women do is complain about such men and assume that all men are the same when that's not even the case...it's just all men YOU LIKE are the same because you keep picking the SAME MEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN!!

From what I've heard...this guy did not do ONE THING WRONG!! NOT ONE. Hell he didn't even try to have sex with you which it sounds like he suuure could have had many times..but right away you start bashing him because he doesn't dance to YOUR FEMALE RULE BOOK. Take the dam rule book and THROW IT IN THE GARBAGE when it comes to men, because women are constantly trying to apply it to men and it never works... MEN ARE NOT THE SAME AS WOMEN!!

Men are NOT talk/share/feeling/vali dation/support oriented. Men can go for weeks, months or YEARS without talking to a friend and everything is still fine and they're still friends. Men do NOT call each other up to get advice on feelings, share feelings, get reassured that they're loved, help another man sort out his feelings..or anything even CLOSE!!

Men speak with each other to sometimes bounce ideas off of them, just to catch up on the latest news and stuff (facts and info, which does not include emotions) and mainly when a man has already tried for a long time to figure out a problem and HE can't solve it! It's only AFTER a man tries to solve something on his own does he then feel OK with asking for help, but until a man ASKS, he is not OPEN to receiving ANY helps hints or suggestions from anyone.

Stop waiting by the telephone or email looking for it the second he calls or emails..Good Lord. It's nice that your excited..but get a GRIP on it and CHILL OUT!.BACK OFF and give him SPACE. MEN WANT SPACE, we don't want to be CROWDED! Another reason that men don't call women even though they say is because FAR TOO OFTEN a woman expects a man to sit with her on the phone for hours and it's waay too much for most men who consider that an incredible waste of time.

Remember, guys want to connect for short periods of time (sex, a few text messages, email, short phone conversations) then go BACK TO BEING alone! So if a guy DOES talk for hours with you on the phone..consider yourself BLESSED and lucky but DON'T expect him to do it all the time or maybe even never again.

The WORST thing that you can do is get pissy or whiny when he does try to pull away, either in a phone call or after dating a month or so and he needs that 2-3 week break period and you keep trying to force him to stay in touch or make contact when he wants time to regroup emotionally and mentally.

Men are naturally independent and that doesn't mean in the "living alone" way, but it means emotionally when it comes to others. It doesn't matter HOW much a man is in love with a woman, he will always need to disconnect.A man does not want to get close and stay close all the time, forever. He wants his space, time to think and reflect on you and miss you.. so he naturally starts to pull away. How YOU react to it can and often does determine if he'll come back or not. If you nag him about it, accuse him of playing games, make a big deal about it, email, call or text him every day going on about how confused you are, how he's hurting you, blah, blah, blah..in short, pulling a guilt trip on him.. you're virtually guaranteeing that he will say "This chick is another nagging, clingy, whining, mind game guilt tripping pain in my ass.. forget her".

- Response by richsifu, A Rebel, Male, 46-55, Science / Engineering

Rating Received:


Some people call it the "silent treatment". Others call it him having a wife and kids and can't get away to see you.

- Response by clarkgriswold, A Guy Critical, Male, 36-45

Rating Received:


Did you ever think he thinks YOU'RE giving HIM the silent treatment and is thinking the same thing? Maybe he's waiting for you to call him. I know my husband likes feeling needed once in a while and since you knew he had days off and didn't bother to call, you didn't really make him feel needed at all. If anything, you're making it seem like he HAS to start communication. Relationships aren't about who starts the communication when. It's about the communication in general.

- Response by dcarter2659, A Married Girl, Female, 22-25, Who Cares?

Rating Received: